Popular password manager 1Password says it has seen passkey adoption surpass 700,000 on its platform, far exceeding its expectations for their growth this year.
The initial projections for the new passwordless technology were less than half the current figure. The firm attributes this increase to support from major platforms and services, which are now allowing their users to replace passwords with options that are easier and more secure for their accounts.
1Password experienced a particular spike in October, correlating with big companies like Amazon and WhatsApp rolling out their support for passkeys during this month, with over 70,000 created between October 16-22 alone.
1Password also has data showing that over 300,000 of its users are trying out passkeys, with 79% of those being personal users, and 21% business customers. Businesses seem more reluctant to take up passkeys, perhaps fearing the logistics involved in switching all of its staff and systems from passwords to passkeys.
However, 1Password CPO Steve Won believes that passkeys will continue to grow, predicting that "2024 will be the year that we see two or three major services providers go all-in on passkeys."
He further explained: "With major tech giants like Google, TikTok and Amazon already demonstrating confidence in the convenience, reliability and security of passkeys, I predict we’ll continue to see strong consumer acceptance."
However, Won also remained cautious about the complete overhaul of passwords in favor of passkeys, believing "it will still take at least 5 years for passkey-only authentication to be adopted more broadly."
Passkeys replace passwords with a set of cryptographic keys, one stored with the service your account is with, and the other on your device. This latter key is private and not known to anyone. Typically, all that is required to authenticate its use is whatever you use to lock your device, such as your fingerprint, face, or PIN. Once authenticated, the two keys combine and grant you access to your account.
The technological standards for passkeys are governed by the FIDO Alliance, which has big tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft on its board. Third party password managers, including 1Password, are also board-level members.
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Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers.
His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.
He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.